Articles About TMS from Lori Calabrese, MD | The Ketamine Blog

These articles about TMS are offered to improve understanding of this treatment. They can also improve your understanding and support for those who receive this treatment. In addition, it’s our hope that this information will help to inform readers and combat stigma.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is the first non-invasive and non-systemic depression treatment cleared by the FDA.  It’s for people whose symptoms have not been helped by prior treatments or medications. This novel and advanced psychiatric treatment uses highly focused magnetic fields in pulsing doses to stimulate nerve cells and other nerve pathways in the brain. This stimulation increases function in brain regions it reaches.

Each session of stimulation lasts 30 or 40 minutes, and is repeated 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks. A magnetic coil device is placed primarily over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is just left of the top center portion of head near the forehead. This repetitive stimulation improves stimulation in the nerves inside the place on the skull where the magnetic coil is placed.

Then, the stimulation moves down the nerve pathway to places deeper and deeper in the brain. It stimulates responses that improve mood, outlook, and function.

As patients come in for TMS treatments they hear a loud tapping  that’s not unlike the tapping heard in an MRI. These sounds are associated with the pulses of magnetic energy that stimulates the nerve cells in the brain.

After about 2-3 weeks of daily TMS sessions, the patient often begins to notice an improvement in mood. Sometimes it’s so dramatic that a patient comes into the office sad and sorrowful, then halfway through the session he begins to smile.

Once this result begins the patient usually feels better and better for the last 3 weeks of treatment sessions.

As you read these articles about TMS, consider how TMS might help you, or else how you might support someone receiving it.

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